This can cause water damage to the wall behind the area which can lead to instability in the wall behind the tiles, which would then need to be fixed. This can make the prices go up and the cash in your wallet go down – something we all dread. It is likely that water is leaking through holes in the silicone that seals the tiles at the bottom and corners of the tiled area. Old silicone is a good culprit for this, it could also just be caused by every day wear and tear. For optimum results, it’s best to remove the old and replace with new.
How To Replace Silicone
First, the easy part. Head down to your local DIY store and pick up a tube of silicone, a silicone gun, and some Stanley blades (try picking silicone that is anti-mould – it should keep the silicone from turning black a bit longer than normal silicone.)
Next, the nitty-gritty work. Make sure that the area you will be replacing the silicone is fully dry. Use those fresh Stanley blades to remove the old silicone (silicone won’t stick to already existing silicone, so this part is a must). By running the blade along the top and bottom of the line, the silicone should easily peel up but you may have to go back and scrape the little bits that are left off with a single blade. ALL the silicone needs to be removed as new silicone will not stick to old stuff.
Once all of the silicone is removed it’s time to apply the new. If you are replacing the silicone around a bath, fill the bath up fully with water. Place the silicone tube in the silicone gun and cut the tip off at an angle (this allows easier application). Squeeze the gun a little bit until the silicone comes out in an even flow. Now you’re ready to seal off the area. You want to hold the angled bit towards the corner and squeeze the gun while moving slowly along in a straight line. If it’s a long line, try doing it half at a time.
Once you have a medium-sized bead running the length (or half-length), you want to smooth the area over with your finger. Yes, your finger. It’s easiest to do this if your finger is wet to prevent the silicone from sticking to it. I like to use good old-fashioned saliva for this part. If you don’t want to use spit, washing up liquid and water will be just fine. Once you finger is wet, run it with moderate pressure along the bead. If you press too hard, you’ll pull all of the silicone out of the area. Try doing small areas at a time and have a towel on hand to wipe the excess off. While it’s still wet, check for any parts that may need a touch up and repeat the process on that area alone. After the sealants been replaced, fill the bath half filled with water. This allows the sealant to set in a “pulled” position. If not done then you run real risk of the sealant peeling off with the weight of yourself and the bath water.
Repeat these steps for each of the parts that need to be sealed. Be sure to let the silicone set over night before you use the bath or shower because moisture can prolong the process. It’s always best to check the next day to make sure there are no holes or leaks. Now that you’re an expert on silicone, you can move on to the next bathroom or kitchen!
Remember if your unsure or simply don’t have the time we can help with any Edinburgh plumbing and tiling jobs.